Friday, September 14, 2007

Something I've Noticed

After poring through
scores of samples and tutorials on C#, I've found that nothing covers how to use the visual aspect of these IDEs.

Even if something specifically says it's for Visual C#, it will inevitably talk about initializing your form data through code. Not that this isn't good information, but when you create stuff with the form designer that code ends up looking quite different than when it's done by hand.

Which means basic tutorials require looking through every last bit of code generated by the form designer in order to figure out what has already been handled so you can try and figure out where to put what hasn't been included.

Is this just a result of the people who write these tutorials preferring to do everything by hand? Or do they just assume that people will immediately see how regular coding is placed into a visual environment?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Code Talking

Microsoft has got the Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 stuff up on their developer sites.

I just started poking around, and it turns out they've got some pretty fantastic support. Signing up gets you access to all kinds of webcasts from all over the place. I downloaded an intro to C# webcast given by a Princeton professor. For free. Can't get a better price on education anywhere.

As much flack as Microsoft gets for being bad for development, it really seems like things have changed without anyone noticing. Getting a complete visual development IDE for free is great - it keeps me from having to track down another solution without as much functionality or continued support (just look at DevC++ for an example of a great IDE with spotty support).

Mostly this is just to scratch the programming itch I get every few months. The upside is that C# is so simple that a Hello World tutorial only takes 30 seconds. They also have a decent 20 minute web browser tutorial that gives a good overview.


Yeah, I know it's actually been up for awhile. But I'm only now just getting around to it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I've got this
wicked idea and no means to pull it off. Mostly I'm just trying to think it through, look at different angles.

If the proprietor of Cathode Tan is interested in discussing some pie-in-the-sky ideas relating to past and present interests, please shoot me an e-mail at thothanon [at] gmail [dot] com.


In unrelated news, I finally uninstalled World of Warcraft. I was leaving it on my hard drive in order to facilitate re-subscribing, just in case (I hate waiting on 3 years of updates). Today I said, "fuck it," deleted the damn thing and hope never to return.

I also unsubscribed to Lord of the Rings Online. I couldn't snare anyone into playing and running around by myself grew tedious. I'm trying to streamline a little, so I can attempt to get these quest writeups and mod done by November. Eve Online is nice because I can queue up a skill and leave it for a day or two (or more). When I come back my character will be more effective. I'm still dallying with Roguelikes, too. Again, they let me work on other things. I can pop over, play a few turns, die horribly and then get back to research.

I need games that let me keep a schedule and have a life without punishing me.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I Hate Yahoo

One day I tried
to log onto my Yahoo e-mail, the one I've had for at least eight years.

My password was denied.

And denied again.

And again.

Sure, I can have my password if I only give them all kinds of information, including all the original information with which I registered the account. Information I haven't looked at in at least eight years and which was most likely fake because I didn't want them knowing it.

So it's all gone. There was a lot of information in that account.

I could almost reach it, too. Before the cookies in my computer expired I could still watch the e-mail come in, but Yahoo's automatic sign-out (despite me clicking the box to stay signed in) asked me to re-authorize (even though the cookie was already accessing the account).

They tell me to fill out the page for a lost password, except my password isn't lost. It's been changed. Either the account's been hacked or their system fucked it up.

Fuck them. Seriously. Three e-mails and it's like a broken record: "Please give us the zip code under which this account was registered." I've lived in at least fifteen different zip codes since then, and that's assuming I used a real address.

This is just here for catharsis.

I'm glad I've switched almost everything over to Gmail at this point. They have an actual security question, one which I am prepared to answer (because they actually told me to remember it).

I guess the moral is: Yahoo is a shitty service that apparently can't look at a log and realize that my current IP address has been logging into that account for at least a year now, and that something is broken on their end.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

In the Way

I was working on a Round Table post and couldn't find anything really interesting to say, so I scrapped it. Mostly it was about how the concept of hardcore is mostly semantics and self-identity and that industry people who concern themselves with hardcore vs. casual are spitting out buzzwords and run the danger of disconnecting their metaphoric understanding from the way people play in real life. I prefer a system that is measurable, not based around endless ego-inflation. Developers need to pay attention to two things: accessibility and duration.

How difficult is the control/concept/customization? How long does it take to play a session/reach the next "carrot"/finish the game?

There you go.


Extraordinarily busy right now. I've got more games on deck than ever before. The big thing, though, is that a design internship position is opening up at work and I've got to put something together. This is pretty much the dream. Even if I'm shunted back to QA after the intern period it's still the opportunity of a lifetime. But it means finishing a mod and putting together some quest writeups with dialogue. I've got concepts and stuff down, but the learning curve for the mod stuff is pretty long.


I've also found my tastes in video games suddenly changing. I don't know why.

Maybe not changing. More like expanding.

I've actually started playing roguelikes and enjoying them. The last time I tried them (which was also the first time), I played for two minutes, quit and uninstalled and vowed never to bother with them again.

I also started up Eve Online and am considering picking it up, at least for a few months. This is my third or fourth time trying it out. The other times I never played for more than a day before uninstalling.

It's very strange. I think I'm just enjoying minutiae more, which used to turn me off. We'll see where this leads. Probably to me picking up a Warhammer 40K Chaos army.